I-Team: DFS workers questioned about role in protecting kids allegedly tortured by adopted mom

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Clark County workers were grilled on the stand Thursday about whether or not they failed to do their job and protect children.  The questioning is part of an ongoing trial against a Las Vegas woman facing 46 charges related to child abuse and neglect.

Janet Solander is accused of torturing three girls she adopted.  According to prosecutors, people spoke up numerous times for the girls, but the Department of Family Services is accused of not taking action. 

Two investigators who took the stand on Thursday investigated the claims, but they’re accused of not taking any action. They’re still employees of the Department of Family Services.

The I-Team has been following the trial closely and tried to get a comment from Janet Solander who faces 46 charges related to child abuse and neglect, but at the advice of her attorney, she did not comment.

Solander’s defense attorneys are also focusing on how the Department of Family Services didn’t take action.

In fact, more foster children were placed inside the home, despite reports about bruising, and concerns about restrictions of food and water for the girls.  There were also buckets inside the home with toilet seats on them for the girls to sit on, and there was concerned about how the girls were homeschooled because the solanders claimed they had multiple illnesses.

The I-Team learned DFS workers never verified the Solanders’ claims about the illnesses and other issues.  They claim they also did not know about the Solanders’ history of being investigated.

Jacqueline Bluth, prosecutor: “Is there a reason why you wouldn’t know that information?”
Gail Anderson, DFS worker: “Yes.”
Bluth: “Can you explain it to me?”
Anderson: “The department is split into different sections, and when they place children into a foster home, that information is not provided to the caseworker.”
Crystal Rosas, DFS worker: “I was aware that a co-worker got a report about the family, but I didn’t ask as to what that whole investigation was about?”
Bluth: “So you did not look into the previous two investigations involving physical abuse about Janet Solander?”

The second worker questioned on the stand testified she didn’t really look into the history, so those three little girls were left inside the home, and an additional six foster children were also placed inside the Solander home.

The I-Team contacted a spokesman for the county to ask if any disciplinary action was taken against the two workers, but he only confirmed that the workers still had their jobs.

Janet Solander’s husband and adult daughter have both taken plea deals in the abuse and neglect case.

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